Horses To Follow » Speed Company

Speed Company

There was a lot to like about the performance that Speed Company put up in winning the 10-furlong handicap that concluded proceedings at Newmarket on Tuesday.

The race lost some of its lustre with the defection of Juste Pour Nous, but it was still an interesting little six-horse race.

They did not go a great gallop, Darryll Holland was able to dictate a sedate enough pace on the outsider of the field Zzoro, which was not ideal for Speed Company, who can race keenly and who was therefore buried away by Ryan Moore, last of the six runners and hemmed in along the stands rail through the early stages of the race. Moore didn’t panic, however. He allowed the race develop in front of him a little and, still stone last as they passed the two-furlong pole, he moved his horse over behind the field towards the far side so that he could have a clear run, and he asked him for his effort. When he did, Speed Company picked up nicely. He was always getting there once he started to pick up, and his rider just gave him one smack as he did, before easing him down close home to win by a cosy three parts of a length.

This was a good performance from John Quinn’s horse. He showed a really nice turn of foot off a sedate pace to come from last to first and post an easy win. The fact that Zzoro, the 16/1 outsider of the field, was able to keep on as well as he did to retain second place tells you that the race was probably run at a pace that suited the prominent racers, so it is probable that Speed Company can be marked up on the bare form of this run. The winning time was slow, but that was probably due more to the slow early pace than it was to the quality of the field or the winner. The poor figures may mean that Speed Company will be under-rated now.

The Fast Company gelding has lots of scope for progression. This was his seasonal debut, his first run since last September, and just his third run in total. He was beaten a half a length on his racecourse debut last August, but he won his next two races last season, a maiden at Musselburgh on good ground over seven furlongs and a novices’ race at Ayr on easy ground over a mile.

From the family of miler No Excuse needed and of 10-furlong and 12-furlong winners, Speed Company obviously appreciated this step up to 10 furlongs. This is a race that has been won by good horses in the past, including Dissolution last year, who ran Time Test to a length on his next run, and Derby runner-up and now multiple Grade 1 winner Main Sequence, and Grade 1 winner Wigmore Hall and Hardwicke Stakes winner Bronze Cannon. Speed Company should be able to build on this now, just his fourth ever run, and he should be able to do even better in a better race off a stronger pace.

12th April 2016